From the Havre de Grace Office of Marketing and Tourism:
The City of Havre de Grace has adopted a new ordinance, effective immediately, that focuses on stimulating the construction industry in Havre de Grace. The new legislation will encourage new construction by drastically reducing the amount of upfront capital necessary to start building projects.
Tightening of the federal banking regulations has made it increasingly difficult for builders to finance projects. The new ordinance, approved at the May 2, 2011 City Council meeting, requires only twenty percent of the capital cost recovery fees to be paid at the time the building permit is issued. The balance of the fees will be collected at the time the Use and Occupancy permit is issued, or nine months, whichever comes first. Deferring the upfront payment will allow builders to free up a considerable amount of capital during project construction.
Havre de Grace Mayor Wayne H. Dougherty strongly supported the legislation. Dougherty stated, “No other municipality in Maryland has demonstrated the flexibility that the City of Havre de Grace has to encourage new building starts. We are happy to work with the private sector and be as flexible as possible while remaining fiscally responsible to our tax payers.”
The City’s creative approach to incentivize residential and commercial development will accomplish two goals. The first is to encourage new construction in challenging economic times. The second is to continue to collect capital cost recovery fees to service the debt on the state-of-the-art waste water treatment plant. The City’s Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) plant came online in December 2009 and is on the forefront in required plant improvements to meet new Chesapeake Bay restoration goals.
The City of Havre de Grace is the only municipality in Harford County positioned to absorb over 2,500 residential units, not including additional opportunities for commercial growth. The opportunity for such growth was created by the City’s investment in the ENR upgrade. The state-of-the-art facility has put Havre de Grace on the forefront of Smart growth and environmental stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay.